All WWE Superstars released following TKO merger
WWE merged with UFC and formed TKO Group Holdings on September 12, 2023 by selling 51% of the stakes to Endeavor. Which makes WWE stakeholders having marginally less control over the merger. After the successful merger, WWE CEO Nick Khan announced WWE officials that there will be layoffs following the merger. At this stage WWE has released a number of superstars on September 21, 2023. Here is the list of WWE Superstars who got released following the TKO merger.
Mustafa Ali, who has been working for WWE since 2016 got released from the company. Ali publicly requested his release from WWE before in 2022 but WWE Chairman Vince McMahon declined his request. However Ali returned and had a great run in NXT and was about to face Dominik Mysterio for the NXT North American Championship on September 30th at No Mercy, but got released.
Dolph Ziggler’s release from WWE is considered as one of the major releases, as the 15-time champ had a 19-year-long career with the company. Ziggler has won the World Heavyweight Championship twice, United States Championship twice, Intercontinental Championship six times, SmackDown Tag Team Championship once, Raw Tag Team Championship twice and World Tag Team Championship once. He is also the 22nd Triple Crown Champion of the company.
He is considered as one of the best sellers of the wrestling moves in the wrestling industry, but got stucked in a jobber role in recent times and was released.
Emma (Tenille Averil Dashwood) who has been in WWE from 2011 to 2017 was re-signed into WWE in 2022. She had a few matches on her return, but everything was on a losing effort. She was away from television for so long and is now released from her contract.
Rick Boogs (Eric Bugenhagen) who has been working for WWE since 2017 has been released from his contract. He has been on and off from television for multiple times on the backstage and released.
The former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Aliyah, who had wrestled for WWE since 2015 got released from her contract after a long hiatus following a rib injury since last year.
Elias who has been working for WWE since 2014 has been released from his contract. He is known for his musician gimmick, and his “Walk With Elias” phrase. He also re-debuted as Ezekial ( Elias’ brother). He was away from television following the 2023 Draft and was released.
The former 24/7 Champion Riddick Moss has been released from WWE after nine years. He has been wrestling from WWE since 2014 and had few championship pursuits. He is known for his time in SmackDown as Madcap Moss while in alliance with Baron Corbin. Moss marked his first major win at WrestleMania 38, where he won the Andre The Giant Battle Royal.
Top Dalla (AJ Francis) who has been working for WWE since 2020 has been released from his contract. He was a member of Hit Row with B-Fab and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.
The former three time Intercontinental Champion and one of the veterans of the wrestling Industry Shelton Benjamin got released from his contract. Benjamin worked for the company from 2000 to 2010 and was re-signed into WWE in 2017. He had a successful tag team run in his second run by teaming up with Chad Gable and won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship and with Cedric Alexander to win the Raw Tag Team Championship. He was booked as a jobber in recent times and got released.
The 15 time 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke got released from WWE after 10 years from the company. Brooke’s contract was about to expire in months, but released before her contract expired.
Mansoor & Mace
Mansoor and Mace, who has been working as one for the Maximum Male Models, got released as one. They have been away from television after Maxxine Dupree joined Alpha Academy.
Apart from them some of the off-television talents such as,
- Quincy Elliot
- Yulisa Leon
- Daniel McArthur
- Kevin Ventura
- Alexis Grey
- Ikemen Jiro
were also released from the contract as part of the layoffs.
After a number of WWE talents released on September 21, 2023, Matt Riddle confirmed his release on X (Twitter) that he got release from WWE the following day. Riddle had been in WWE since 2018 and was one of the top babyfaces of the company. He is a one time United States Champion, two times Raw Tag Team Champion and one time NXT Tag Team Champion. Riddle has a history of being suspended for wellness issues for using drugs and was previously warned to be fired from WWE. However he got released from WWE to continue the release list.
The wrestling industry is shocked by the release of WWE talents and the everyone is praying for no further release.